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Taipei Youth Folk Sports Group Gives Spectacular Performance in Houston

Taipei Youth Folk Sports Group Gives Spectacular Performance in Houston
Traditional Chinese folk games like shuttlecock kicking, Chinese yoyo spinning, and rope skipping have enjoyed popularity for generations among Chinese communities worldwide. And the Taiwanese government promotes these folk games being used to liven up students’ recesses between classes and their after-school hours in primary and secondary schools in Taiwan.

Folk games have been incorporated into the athletic activities inside and outside of classrooms throughout the country. This has contributed to the evolution of the manufacturing of associated toys. Players’ creativity has also evolved over the years, and basic techniques have been developed into elaborate performances by individuals, pairs, or groups.

Since 1988, winners of Chinese folk sports competitions from elementary and intermediate schools in Taipei City have been teamed up to form the Taipei Youth Folk Sports Group which goes on tour to different cities around the world annually. This year, 26 skillful students, aged 12 to 14, were selected to perform in five cities in the United States, including Houston. They have been constantly practicing in their extracurricular activity time, school breaks, and vacations, and they had a month of intensive training before the tour. Along with popular folk sports, their performances include folk music and dance, Chinese martial arts and folk games, and Taiwanese aboriginal culture and Hakka folklore, making them one of the most anticipated folk festival groups in the international community.

The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston began working in February to find the most suitable venue in the Greater Houston Area for the show, and to organize an event that would provide a one-of-a-kind experience for people there. Fort Bend County Judge Robert Herbert attended the event and delivered a welcome from Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and the Fort Bend County Proclamation of appreciation for the group. Five hundred people crowded the Grant Ballroom of the Safari Texas Ranch on the night of July 24, and the success of everyone’s efforts was evident when the performance received a well-deserved standing ovation.

Photo:Tang Chih-Min, Commissioner of the Taipei Education Department; Robert Herbert, Fort Bend County Judge; and Louis M. Huang, Director General of TECO in Houston with the Folk Sports Group (standing,12th, 13th, and 16th from the left respectively)